TLP: Lessons in STFU
Being mouthy and aggravating the ruling elite has its drawbacks. For instance, a media figure commented unfavorably on the tactics used by political leadership and found himself in trouble, hauled in for a sit-down and given unappealing options for his future.
The arrest of the president of Venezuela's last independent television station by Hugo Chavez's intelligence agents? That happened. But even more deliciously hypocritical was the ouster of David Frum from the conservative American Enterprise Institute after his criticism of Republicans during the health care debate. Frum, credited with "axis of evil" during his days as a W speechwriter, is now a former fellow at AEI.
Adam Nagourney gets into it at The Caucus in the NYT:
Mr. Frum said he was taken out to lunch by the president of the organization, Arthur C. Brooks. He said Mr. Brooks told him the institute valued a diversity of opinion, and welcomed that one of its scholars had become such a high-profile critic of Republican legislative leaders. Mr. Frum, who has been with the institute since 2003, said that he was asked if he would considering being associated with the institute on a nonsalaried basis.
Mr. Frum declined.
“Does it have anything to do with what would be the most obvious explanation of what happened?” he said in an interview after his lunch. “I don’t know. That’s not what they say.”
Asked if he believed that explanation, Mr. Frum responded, “I’m not going to say that they’re not telling the truth.”
While Frum might not see much of a distinction, things were a little rougher for the Venezuelan TV executive who made some remarks about the status of free speech in his country.
The WSJ reported from Caracas:
Guillermo Zuloaga, president of Globovision network, was arrested over comments that were deemed "offensive" to President Hugo Chávez, according to Venezuela's Attorney General Luisa Ortega. Mr. Chávez, who has been in power for more than a decade, has recently stepped up a campaign against critics of his socialist government.
Mr. Zuloaga was detained at a small airport in northwestern Venezuela as he prepared to board his private jet for Holy Week holidays in Bonaire, a Caribbean island. He was then flown to Caracas for questioning by judicial authorities, officials said. He was later released, though he won't be allowed to leave the country, Globovision reported.
Extra irony points go to Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, who revved up an anti-Obamacare rally, urging the crowd to "resist tyranny" and complaining about how the Democrats were taking her party down. Winning quote: "Sounds more like a Chavez tactic in Venezuela."